Producers of the BBC reality TV show “Race Across the World” must not have done their research before deciding to film on BC’s coast.
The show is all about a fast-paced plot as contestants race against time using public services to try and get across miles of terrain as fast as possible.
It’s a piece of cake during episodes that take place in densely populated European countries with extensive bus and rail networks.
But the series became yawn-inducing after the competitors set off on a route from Vancouver to Haida Gwaii.
Due to a lack of public transport options, people travelled at a turtle pace, which was not the most entertaining scenario.
As one Twitter user put it, “I’m loving the scenic aspect of Canada, but not sure it really works for this kind of show. Too remote and not enough transport options to make it exciting.”
Port Hardy Mayor Patricia Corbett-Labatt, told Times Colonist she was impressed the contestants made it.
“Thank goodness that there’s people that drove them from Victoria to Port Hardy,” she said.
Hitchhiking became the only option for many competitors, including a father-daughter duo. After missing a bus connection from Campbell River to Port Hardy by just 45 minutes, they were shocked to find out they’d be waiting for days before the next one rolled through.
Luckily, the Island has plenty of lovely characters willing to help you get around in a pinch.
But it takes some effort to find them, as these clips shared by journalist Justin Mcelroy highlight.
While the show may be simple entertainment for viewers, it highlighted a real issue for many remote Islanders who rely on transit systems to access vital services like doctors’ appointments.
Greyhound’s shutdown in BC in 2018 created massive holes in intercity bus services on the Island and the mainland.
Since the pandemic, options are starting to return, but not fast enough for a “Race Around The World.”